tv Washington This Week CSPAN July 15, 2013 2:00am-6:01am EDT
i want to thank the afp. what is a few sandwiches between friends? do not worry about it. i want to thank my personal staff, led ably by ben hubbard. unfortunately, it is becoming part of our political debate to draw staff members into the political contest. i think that is wrong. i have always believed that is wrong. i hope that this desists now. i would like to thank my electorate office staff, particularly michelle fitzgerald and carlos, who have been with me since i was elected in 1998. i would like to thank tim and my family, and i would like to say, as i have already said by way of text to our niece, who is due to have a baby in july, look forward to the most meddlesome great aunt australia's history. thank you very much. [applause] >> personally, can i say what a privilege it has been to serve as deputy prime minister and also as treasurer.
in a labor government that has represented the very best of labor tradition. i personally have always been driven by a deep sense of social justice, and as a labor party member it is my belief we live in a community, not in a corporation. there is a role for government to create wealth working with the private sector, and to spread opportunity around our community and make sure that everyone in every postcode gets a fair go. in my maiden speech to parliament back in 1993, i should say first speech to parliament in 1993, i made the point then that levels of unemployment which were then around 11% were absolutely unacceptable.
the social and economic destruction that comes from prolonged and high unemployment, the destruction of communities, something the labor party was formed to fight against. that is why all these years later i am so proud of the record of this labor government in dealing with the challenges the global financial crisis and the threat of high unemployment and social dislocation that has ravaged so many other developed economies around the world, almost alone amongst developed economies we avoid a deep recession. as all of you have heard me say, on so many occasions standing here in australia today, and-- with an economy that is 14% larger than it was at the end of 2007, that is something every australian can be very proud of. it brings its own challenges, social and economic, but it sure as hell beats the alternative. the alternatives are on show around the world in almost every
other developed economy. to be here in australia with an unemployment rate with a five in front of it says something very special about our country and our social and economic policies. to seat one million jobs created over the past five years, when jobs have been lost everywhere else in the developed world, this says a lot about the character of the labor government over the past five years, and in particular over the past three years. it says a lot about how prime-- our prime minister -- i just watched her presentation she is one of the toughest warriors that have ever led the australian labor party. i observed in the caucus, when i congratulated kevin rod, i said, -- kevin rudd, i said,
there have been 20 meters of the australian labor party since the parliament came together. she is indeed one of the toughest of all those. i think she has done more as a politician for our country in three years than many other politicians could ever hope to achieve. i am not going to go to the list tonight, but you are all very familiar. getting carbon pricing done in this country, getting it done in the three years in a minority government, is a very substantial achievement. you can say the flipside in the statements that have been made overnight by president obama. you could go on. the progress we are currently making in terms of fixing a broken school funding model which goes to the core of spreading opportunity in our country over the next decade for the creation of disability care. it has been a privilege to serve with her as deputy and as treasurer.
of course, to come here to the parliament you have to represent a local electorate. the job i enjoy the most is being a member. as you move around your community, you hear what people have to say and take it on board. my electorate has always been the first place i look when i listen to what people have to say. --t making any judgment about when i'm making any judgment about policy settings. every decision i have ever taken has been grounded in the communities i represent. the small businesses across the northern suburbs of brisbane. the working people who commute to work. the elderly, the retired, and of course, the young students. i am proud, and i do intend to re-contest the next election as the labor candidate.
i want to do my best to ensure that labor does win the next election. i also want to thank extraordinary people in my life. first of all, my family. my wife, kim. my kids. you cannot do this job unless your family is on board.and, of course, the dark side of political life, they see it more frequently than the member does. if they are the ones out there in the community to the commentary, hearing what people have got to say. when the debate gets rancorous, they tend to suffer more than most. be effective in parliament without your family and, of course, in many ways they are conscripts to parliament as well. i love them very much and they are as committed to my work as i am. i thank them for that.
hererliamentary colleagues , on the back bench and the cap cabinet, we have had an extraordinary good working relationship. particularly in the last three years. i want to thank each and every one of them. they have been my lifelong friends. there are too many to single out tonight. i want to thank all of my staff. in the great work they do north brisbane. all i ministerial staff that are here tonight. too many to name. check -- deputy chief of staff and chief of staff, all these extraordinarily committed people who are here not for the salary, not for the arestyle, but because they
committed to making our country better. we cannot do our job as well as we showed unless we have their uldmitment -- showe unless we have their commitment. people -- dedicated public servants in the treasury who were all too frequently singled out. public an outstanding service, and they should be held in the respect they deserve. finally, it is true, i think, that politics is a tough business. the experience can make you bitter or better. i choose the latter. i hope i have learned from this experience to shine on the better angels in my nature. [laughter] we have to learn from those experiences and make the most of them.
i say to all my colleagues, the heart and soul of the labor party is about making our country better, spreading opportunity, not leaving people behind. in this election campaign a lot is on the line because essentially our conservative opponents have a view that it is the survival of the fittest. stylewill embrace european- austerity policies. we have seen that already in my own home state of queens land. .here is a lot on the line we owe it to the working people of australia, who we represent, to fight this campaign as hard as we can and as successfully as we can. that to the we owe nation. the nation deserves a vigorous political contest. the thing that makes me so proud
to be a member of parliament, to have been a minister, to have been a policymaker, is just how well our nation has done in recent years. not just economically, but socially. around the world, developed economies are showing all the stresses and strains of becoming much more unequal. the back of high unemployment and growing social inequality. particularly through social safety nets being ripped up and torn away. here, in this country, we have shown over the last five and a half years that there is a different way. fairere society -- a society is a more prosperous society and a truly wealthy society. that is what we are all about. that is why we deserve to win the election, and that is why we election against conservatives and european-style austerity. that is it for now. thank you very much. [applause]
>> in 2007, the australian people elected me to be there prime minister. that is a task a resume today , and anility, honor important sense of energy and purpose. in recent years, politics has failed the australian people. there has just been too much negativity all around. ofre has been an erosion trust, negative personal politics doing much to bring dishonor to our parliament. they have done nothing to urge -- address the urgent challenges facing our nation, our communities, our families. in fact, it has been holding our country back. all this must stop. my heart, that is the purpose i intend to pursue through the office of prime minister. pause to a knowledge
the achievements of my predecessor, julia gillard. she is a woman of extraordinary intelligence, of great strength, and great energy. here in the national press gallery and across the nation would recognize those formidable attributes in her. and i know them, having worked with her closely for some years. julia as prime minister and prior to that as deputy prime minister, has achieved much under the difficult circumstances of a minority government. helpedg so, she has been by a group of dedicated ministers and members of parliament, whose contribution i also which to it knowledge -- wish to it knowledge. acknowledge.
were it not for julia, we would not have a fair work act. if it were not for julia, we would not have a national scheme that ensures the literacy performance of every australian school is tested regularly and interventions occur to lift those students who are doing poorly. she has been a remarkable reformer. acknowledgeedge -- those contributions formally this evening. i also wish to acknowledge the contributions of the deputy prime minister, wayne swan, with whom i have worked intimately over several years. working in the trenches day in, day out, night income and night out, here in canberra working to prevent this country from rolling into the global economic recession and avoiding mass unemployment. so wayne, whatever our differences have been, i knowledge your contribution here as part of that team which kept
us out of a global catastrophe. the question many of you will understandably be asking, why am i taking on this challenge? to me, is pretty basic. it is pretty clear. i simply do not have it in my nature to stand idly by and allow an habit ever meant to governmentsn abbott to come to this country by default. i have known mr. abbott for 15 years. i recognize his strengths. i also recognize, however, that mr. abbott is a man steeped in the power of negative politics. he is formidable at negative politics. of a realno evidence positive plan for our country's future. i also passionately believes that the australian people want
-- all of us engaged in our national political life to work together, to come together whenever that is possible. i see my role as prime minister in forging consensus wherever i can. identifying our differences where they do, in fact exist. without reverting to personal vitriol. that just diminishes and demeans us all. we can do better than that. we can all do better than that. australia is a great country. having seen a few others around the world in my time, this is a fantastic ways. we owe much to those who have come before us. we owe much to those who have come after us to ensure that what we have inherited is improved upon. and not degraded. something, we have a great future but that future is not guaranteed. , hereave said once before
in australia we have to make our own luck. and we can. we're good at it. and if we work at it, we can actually bring our future home securely. have beentimes i thinking a lot about the state of the global economy. there are bad things happening out there. is stilll economy experiencing the slowest of recoveries. the china resources boom is over. and china itself, domestically, shows signs of recovering. when china represents such a large slice of australia's own economy, our jobs, and the opportunities for raising a living standard, the time has come for us to adjust to the new challenges. the new challenges in productivity. new challenges in the diversification of our economy. new opportunities for what we do
with processed foods and agriculture and the services sector and manufacturing. scriptnever changed my or my beliefs. i never want to be prime minister of a country that does not make things any more false top there is a big future for australian manufacturing under this government. looking at our global economic circumstances, we have tough decisions ahead on the future of our economy. this means having a government that looks at growing the size of the economic pie, as well as how it is distributed. let me say this to australian business -- i want to work closely with you. i worked with you closely in the past, and there are some white knuckle moments there that the heads of the major banks will remember. we came through because we worked together. tom saying it loud and clear businesses large and small across the country. in partnership we can do great
things for the country's future. whofor the australians depend on the success of your business to have a job, to have decent living standards and opportunity. business is a group this government will work with very closely. see here into canberra is for business and labor to work together. i do not want to see things which drive business and labor apart. we have been natural partners in the past. we can be again. i intend to lead a government that brings people together and gets the best out of them. before i conclude, let me say a word or two to young australians. inis clear that many of you, fact, far too many of you, have looked at our political system and the parliament in recent years and not liked or respected much of what you have seen. in fact, as i talk to my own
kids, they see it as a huge national title. i see what you have switched off. it is hardly a surprise. i ask you to please come back and listen of fresh. -- afresh. it is important we get you engaged in any way we can. we need you, your energy, your ideas, your enthusiasm. us ind you to support the great challenges that lie ahead. with your energy we can start cooking with gas. the challenges are great. but if we are positive, and if , weome together as a nation can overcome each and every one of them. it is myd gentlemen, great pleasure to introduce you to the deputy prime minister, anthony albanese.
i am delighted the caucus has elected him today. i congratulate him on his new appointment. >> thank you very much, kevin. i want to thank kevin for his support. i do want to thank the parties for the great honor of electing me this evening to be the deputy leader of the federal parliamentary labor hardy. -- party. i think it's has a great thing about our nation and the opportunity that it has are presented for australians arough the generations that son of a single parent who grew up in a council house in inner to the position of deputy prime minister. what labor is about is opportunity for all. it is about removing
discrimination across the board, whether it be on the basis of race or gender or ethnicity or religion. fairness,t creating supporting the economy, but also making sure that the benefits of economic growth are spread. so, i have a big job to do. i will do it as i have undertaken every task since i was elected into this house in 1996. i will do it with enthusiasm, passion, and commitment. and give my all for the cause of labor. not because the election of a labor government is an end in itself, but it is only labor governments, i believe, that can truly serve the long-term interests of the nation.
the reason i was attracted toward the infrastructure portfolio is that i believe one of the great divisions in australian politics is between labor that is concerned about the long term the short-term opportunism of the opposition. labor that believes government can play a positive role in people's lives, and the opposition, the coalition of mr. abbott, who believe the government just gets in -- that if government just gets out of the way everything will sort itself out. very different approaches. i believe that in terms of working with kevin i have no with thet together team, we can do great things for the nation. maximized ourave a thirdof going into term and beyond of a labor government.
it is only a long labor government that can get the egg reforms done. reforms done. i want to conclude by knology that this has been a really tough day for the -- acnk owledging that this has been a really tough day for the labor party. julia and wayne are not just people i have worked with on a daily, hourly basis. they are close friends. i pay tribute to both of them and their achievements over the entire period of the labor government, and prior to that in the efforts of ensuring we were able to form a government in 2007. in coming days, weeks, and months ahead, we will be working until the federal election.
we will be out there advocating the cause of labor each and every day, mobilizing and looking for a new energy, a resurgence of energy. because this is a fight worth having. to ensure a long-term labor , as opposed to the destructive negativity that tony abbott represents. thank you. -- we i just say this have been briefed by the secretary about the immediate challenges that lie ahead. we will begin briefings as appropriate over the next several days on the budget and the economic outlook and a range of other international matters which lie before us. await the governor general on that matter. what i would say to you is we have a for medically busy day rr.
speak with certainly you collectively again very soon. in the meantime, we have got to go. thank you. [captioning performed bynational captioning institute] [captions copyright nationalcable satellite corp. 2013] >> i present to the honorable kevin rudd be sworn in as prime minister. >> i invite you to take and subscribe the oath of office as prime minister. >> hi, kevin rudd, for men and for people in the office of prime minister.
your excellency, it is with pleasure that i present the honorable anthony norman albanese to be minister for infrastructure and transport and minister for regional australia, and to be deputy prime minister of the commonwealth of australia . >> mr. albanese, i invite you to make and subscribe the affirmation of office as minister for infrastructure and transport and regional australia and local government. >> thank you, your excellency. swear that i will well and fully serve the commonwealth of australia, her land, and her people in the office of minister for infrastructure and transport and minister for regional australia and local government. >> will you sign the document, please.
>> with kevin read sworn in as prime minister on the final day of the parliament -- kevin rudd sworn in as prime minister on the final day of parliament, he had to face question time. they focused on the chaos within labor, but he had a more upbeat backbench on his side. >> will the prime minister explained to this house why the events of last night were necessary, and will it end the uncertainty they have created by confirming the date for the election? the prime minister has the podium. >> thank you very much. i think the opposition for the question. let me go to the second part of the question first, which deals with the timing of the election. as the honorable gentleman knows, the timing of the
election is governed by the estrogen constitution. it is worth having a look at that document, as it is the law that governs australians. secondly, i would draw the leader of the opposition's attention to the fact that the the prime minister's was in accordance of the provisions of the constitution to identify a date for an election. i will be no different to any of my predecessors. the leader of the opposition goes to questions of timing. i would draw his attention to facts that are material to the consideration of the government. number one, the timing of the g- 20 summit in st. petersburg scheduled for the sixth and seventh of september. number two is the timing of the local government, and the third is of course the current coincidence of the election date with yom kippur. i will therefore go through
these issues with my cabinet colleagues, and the leader of the opposition can rest assured there will be an election held consistent with the constitution. they will not be a huge variation one way or the other. peopleor the australian to decide. i look forward to contesting him with these elections on alternative plans. >> to the prime minister. >> order. >> why should the australian people accept that their right to choose their prime minister
has been usurped by faceless man for the second time in just three years? >> the prime minister has the call. >> can i think the honorable member for his question. in the four years i was leader of the estrogen labor party i -- australian labor party -- i most .ecently faced tony abbott for leaders in four years. leaders in four years. let's get onto questions about the country's tutor. >> i referred the prime minister promisetatement and his that "i will not under any circumstances announce a challenge against your leadership.
in the 18turns on j months ahead, you will find me in the corner -- julia next 18 months ahead, you will find me in your corner." >> i think the deputy leader of the opposition for her question. if she was observing the political debate yesterday she would have heard in my statement to the press gallery prior to the ballots which was held at 7:00 p.m. yesterday, my reasons for changing position, which i outlined clearly. i would draw also the attention to the multiple statements made by the then-member concerning the member for wentworth when he was leader of the opposition. i think it is not a time for pots calling kettles black. >> deputy leader of the opposition. sydney isber from -- ing
>> order. call.puty leader has the >> the prime minister has indicated he answered the question yesterday. "remind him this year he said when i said to the people across australia i would not challenge for the leadership, i believe in honoring my word. why didn't the prime minister keep his word? ofi think the deputy leader the opposition for her question and would refer her again to mice and men yesterday. -- my statement yesterday. i have nothing further to add. >> the australian people voted for his election in 2007. they ended up with the other member. they ended up voting for her and ended up with him. what guarantee can he provide
that they will not end up with someone else after the election? >> the prime minister has the call. >> thank you. i think the honorable member. this is the fourth or fifth .uestion not a single question on policy. parade thewe see on old politics whereby we scream at each other, we do not work with each other, we try and scare people rather than make them think, and on top of that we engage in politics which divide ordinary australians rather than unite them. the honorable member will be fully aware that the nation faces large challenges for the future. i find it remarkable he should be so nervous about the leader of the opposition's prospects of the next election. >> there you have it. another dramatic chapter in australian politics. if the polls are right, the shift back to kevin rudd is already paying off for labor.
we will see if they are actually >> tomorrow on c-span 2, live discussions of the dodd frank financial law and the role of the united states -- united nations in international conflict. first, a federal reserve board member talks about implement and be dodd frank act. of the u.n. did lament arm speaks of the brooking institution about the serious and civil war -- syrian civil and other international conflicts. now, a discussion from the center for strategic and
international studies on the proposed agenda for the upcoming g-20 summit in st. petersburg, russia. the grazing through the international monetary fund's david lipton and a g-20 representative from moscow. >> welcome back. thank you, again, for participating on a wet friday morning. it is great to see a good group here. i know there are a lot of people watching online. you as well. i am happy to have two people ao would individually be headline maker here. certainly about the g-20. i am delighted to have both of them at the same time for a conversation about the g-20 and
what to look forward to in the next couple months up to the summit in st. petersburg. they left is the second of two former bosses i alluded to when i enter leased caroline -- introduced caroline. david lipton is first deputy managing director of the imf. he has been in that role from us two years, i think. atid and i work together white house and treasury. he has a long, distinguished career in international finance in the private sector and at the and ine u.s. treasury, academia. i think he is pretty well known here in washington. so welcome to him. i should have said, he got his phd from an obscure institution in cambridge, massachusetts. that is the lead-in to our other , theer, ksenia yudaeva russian g-20 sure bob.
-- g-20 sherpa. she is also head of the directorate of the executive office of the russian president. she has had that office for over year and has taken on recently the role of organizing be st. petersburg summit and the many related aspects of a hosting year in the g-20. she was, prior to her government service, had a long and distinguished career in international economics. she also works at the carnegie endowment. in addition to degrees from moscow state university and the economic school, she has a phd from another skier institution in cambridge -- obscure in masstion in cambridge, which you can read about in the
biography. we will start with the macro, global growth story. i wanted to ask david. you just, the imf just issued an update of its regular annual world economic outlook this week. you downgraded slightly the outlook for the global economy. when i look back at the april release, i noticed one thing that really stood out. april, you were pretty positive about conditions in emerging markets. headline, re- inelerating activity emerging markets. what happened? >> let me start with a couple words about the g-20. i think the g-20 as a group has been a very important one. it started with washington in the 2008. through the london summit, the
pittsburgh summit in 2009, it howly address the question, do we stop this crisis? in the midst of the financial crisis, how do we make sure it never happens again? the work the g-20 has done over veryears, we have seen good cooperation among the g-20 two deal with the most acute phases of the crisis. but we are now faced with the fact that recovery is disappointing. it has never taken hold as strongly as we had liked. yet we had our most recent outlook downgraded growth a little bit. we have been saying for some time we see three-the growth, with the most rapid growth in emerging markets. with some recovery, but not strong enough recovery, in the u.s. and a few other countries. and still quite disappointing
situation in europe, where the eurozone remains in recession. rightk you are absolutely . one of the more substantial revisions this time has been that the emerging markets have slowed somewhat. keeping in perspective, they are still the fastest-growing part of the world. it is always hard to gauge exactly how high growth can be for how long in the emerging market world. i think we are seeing a slowdown , and we are looking at the reasons for that. we also downgraded growth in other parts of the world. keeping this on perspective perspective, i think the main growth has slowed the latter part of
last year in the first part of this year. yeare it accelerating this and into next year. remaining growth as insufficiently strong to deal with the challenge of creating allowt a pace that will countries to reduce unemployment rates satisfactorily. coming back to her subject of the day, what that means is there is an important role for the g-20, which has countries from each of the country categories, advanced to emerging , different regional distribution. each of the countries in the g- 20 can play a part to work together to try to find ways through collective action to contribute to a stronger recovery. about thatn speaking
for some time. we will continue to take it up. >> on the outlook itself, you mentioned europe. i see a sort of schizophrenia about europe. in april, you seemed palpably relieved that the euro area was not about to break up. time, there is the concern that europe is not performing well enough. accelerating, returning from recession, to positive growth fairly substantially in the next 18 months. you think about europe? a major subject of the g-20 in the last 18 months. >> europe has been afflicted by crisis. it has taken a number of important decisions. europe-wide decisions, individual country decisions that have greatly reduced the risk, the tail risks. but we still see recession. very significant
problems in peripheral countries. and a weakening of growth in the core countries. , unfortunately, we do not see a single silver bullet. not as though there is one policy paddle you push -- peda; push.u our recommendation is seeking policy action on every space where there is some room. we believe stronger monetary policy accommodation is necessary, that we have seen kind of banking fragmentation across europe, and the failure credit thatprovide is supportive of recovery. we think there is work for the ecb and others in europe to try to work on, including
transmission so that monetary policy is felt more broadly. we see a job for continued fiscal adjustment, but determinedat a pace country by country, where countries that really need to adjust quickly do so. but countries that have some elbow room to provide support to their economies do that. a range of structural reforms that can be supportive of growth and potential growth over time. lastly, we see an important role for improving some of the architecture of europe itself. it has been, in a sense, an imperfect currency and economic union. it is a single market for goods, but in the european union it is 27 markets with banks, with individual supervisors. we have been pushing banking union with a whole set of steps that we think will help improve
the functioning of the banks and capital markets in europe and provide some impetus for growth. it seems that agenda has certainly been taken up. that agenda is progressing. that monetarytion policy will provide some more accommodation and that the plans and some ofunion the fixes to the architecture go forward. on that basis, we see some recovery in europe in the coming years. >> let me bring ksenia into the conversation. as a russian economist, russia is doing reasonably well. you are debt-free, you have not many of the problems many other countries we are talking about here today have. first of all, what is the outlook for russia? or broadly, when you look out of the world, what do you see and what you worry about? >> russia is doing reasonably
well. i agree. russia is generally concerned because global economy russia has had the slowdown after 2008, and this year in particular. largely a this is result of several global tendencies, including the recession in europe and slowdown in european economies, including a slowdown in russia. , weglobal growth slowdown predicted as a challenge for russia as well as all the g-20 economies. this is why it is important for our economies to discuss this issue and maybe come up with some idea of how we are going to address, how we are going to move forward.
say a couple words personally as an economist, rather than as a government official. througheurope went several stages of crisis. a huge decline in 2008. also a financial meltdown. recovery. was some in some countries, fueled by monetary and fiscal policy. the world islike going through structural adjustments which we all knew were supposed to happen before we moved to the balanced growth stage. i'm speaking mainly about china. china and the u.s. need to go through some structural adjustments in order to get out
of the deficit between the two countries. china is starting to go through this adjustment. now, they are not using the tools which they used to use in 2009 to support growth. these structural adjustments in will probably require structural adjustments in other countries. on the agenda for the last month is exit monetary exit policies.
russia, as well as most of the 20 countries, experienced significant financial market rumors theafter some federal reserve was going to scale down government bonds. was,nk the impression central banks will be able to scale down their nontraditional policy. the market will be less volatile. month proved volatility will be a part for a number of years to come. central banks still have to get out of the nontraditional policies. it is also something which needs
-- by many central banks and financial ministers, whether they would like to approach the volatility. it is a big new issue which is on the agenda right now. to ask david about exit strategies. if i do not, i am sure someone in the audience will. let me take this to the g-20 level. it is interesting, you talk about rebalancing. it feels as though the pittsburgh framework, which has the three big adjectives -- strong, sustained, and balanced growth, the talk about the framework itself, about the mutual effects under the framework, you do not hear as much discussion of that. is that because we have solved the problem? or am i mischaracterizing where we are?
what role does the g-20 and the framework play in addressing this? >> as i said before, i think our premise is that there is a need for more growth virtually everywhere. there is no single several -- silver bullet. you have to look at every margin. global rebalancing is one of those margins. some has been, i think, complacency that has said in because the global in valances -- imbalances have gone down somewhat. the chinese surplus was 10% and out is 3%. other imbalances around the world have gone down somewhat. the question is whether those imbalances have gone down because of rebalancing, or slowed the economy and exporters are not exporting, importers on importing. i think we will find that diminished, but
not in a permanent way. there really is still work to be rebalancing.te that can be a significant contributor to strengthening global growth. what i think we need is the g-20 process of peer review. something the g 20 has talked .bout from its inception as -- the leader summit coming up in september -- have a process where the g-20 said down together and have a more serious. view. not a general one, but one is more specific, where countries can talk quite earnestly about
what they feel others could do to contribute to make a contribution and perhaps, through that dialogue, reach agreement on collective action that would be useful for everybody. >> sounds like a good idea. this is a group of the main economies in the world. they are peers and have an opportunity to review. will this be part of the russian agenda in st. petersburg? how are you framing the macro discussion? as a follow-up, i want to ask you about your financing for investment category that is under your theme of growth. >> actually, right now we .tarted to discuss we had a meeting today. we started with how we will structure the discussion of macro issues. clearly, leaders will discuss many of the topics we are
discussing now. the process which david is speaking about, the process which -- i am not sure everybody here in the audience is familiar with how different it is. how big the g-20 is, how many different processes are involved, how it works. knows about leaders summits. they happen throughout the year. there is the sherpa process, preparation for the summit, and the ministers of finance process, preparing a meeting for the ministers of finance and central banks themselves. that, there are many
issues which are on the agenda. there are working groups or task forces with experts from different countries which discuss the specific issues in more detail. there is expert-level discussion, which reports either to the sherpas or financial ministers, and they report to the presidents. it is a multi-layer process. when davidk, says that countries need to discuss as peers what is going , i do not think leaders have enough time for the discussion.
also on the working level, it happens to some extent. in the framework meetings. maybe not as deep as it was perceived from the beginning. from the very beginning, there was a controversy about the role of the imf and the role of the framework itself. they're still doing it. it.framework is doing imf and the framework is
interesting to discuss as well. the discussion of the sherpas and financial ministers, for me one of the things i learned about what g-20, is doing, it is a forum where you have the countries sitting around the table, discussing the issues in a different level. we have a lot of distressed, different -- distrust, d ifferent views on different levels. him forovides a for m forgue, -- foru dialogue, building trust. in my role as a sherpa i am
permanently asked the question, is the g-20 efficient or not efficient? -- i think that what is really the issue involved is trust between countries with each other. some countries may still believe that others benefit more from measures than them. it is an important task for the g-20. that is one of the issues. >> i personally agree very much. the habits of cooperation in the g-20 is one of its real assets and something people underestimate the importance of. it is quite important to get this group of countries that have not had these conversations before and maybe do not have
that -- i want to come back to the institutional questions, but we have a lot more to cover. one more question about the macro side of things. david, there has been a lot of angst in the world recently about competitive exchange rate appreciation. the imf seems to take a relatively benign view of this. and you have been criticized for being not vigilant enough, not outspoken enough about these issues. thewhole reason for establishment of the imf was to establish these issues. how do you respond to that criticism? is it fair? >> we have been asked by the g- into look at how policies any one country spill over and affect other countries. we are doing that. i think when we look at that in the recent period, we identified the spillovers. we are on the lookout for
well-settled traditions and practices. there are a lot of things one can do to gum up the works in the senate, a lot of things you can do. but what typically happens is we exercise self-restraint and we don't engage in that kind of behavior becse invoke certain tactics would upset the senate's unwritten rules, filibustering judicial nominees with majority support falls in that cat gorism let me repeat, it could have always been done. for 214 years we could have done it, but we didn't.
we could have, but we didn't. by filibustering ten qualified judicial nominees and only -- in only 16 months,ing democratic colleagues have broken this unwritten rule. this is not the first time a minority of senators has upset a senate tradition or practice. and the current senate majority intends to do what the majority in the senate has often done. use its constitutional authority under article 1, section 5 to reform senate procedure by a simple majority vote. despite the incredited united states will protestations of our democratic colleagues, the senate has repeatedly adjusted its rules as circumstances dictate. the first senate adopted its rules by majority vote, rules, i might add, which specifically provided a means to end debate instantly by sillel-majority vote. that was the first senate way back at the beginning of our
country. that was senate rule 8, the ability to move to the previous question and end debate. now, two decades later, early in the 1800's, the possibility of a filibuster arose through inadd srertence. the senate's failure to renew senate rule 8 in 1806 on the grounds that the senate had hardly ever needed to use it in the first place. now in 1917, the senate adopted its first restraint on filibuster. it's first cloture rule. th is a means for stopping debate after senator thomas walsh, a democrat from montana, forced the senate to consider invoking its authority under article 1, section 5 to simply change senate procedure. specifically, in response to concerns that germany office to begin unrestricted submarine warfare against american shipping, president wilson
sought to arm merchant ships so they could defend 24e8selves. the legislation became known as the "armed ship bill." however, 11 senators who wanted to avoid american involvement in the first world war filibustered the by. think about this: in 1917, there was no ought cloture -- no cloture rule at all. the senate functioned entirely by unanimous consent. so how did the senate overcome the determined opposition of 11 isolationist senators who refused to give consent to president willston arm ships? how did they do it well, senator walsh made clear that the senate would exercise its constitutial authority under article 1, section 5, to reform its practices by majority vote. mr. sessions: mr. president? i think the assist assistant
majority leader deserves more respect. the presiding office the senate is not order is not in order. the senate will be in order. the senator from alabama is correct. the senator from kentucky is recognized. mr. mcconnell: i thank the chair. mr. president, senator walsh made clear that the senate would exercise its constitutional authority under article 1, section 5, to reform its practice's but simple-majority vote. a past senate could not take ay the right of a future senate to govern itself by passing rules that tied the hands of the new senate. he said -- quote -- "a majority may adopt the rules in the first place. it is per pos trous assert that they may deny future majorities the right to change them." what he said makes elementary good sense. because he made clear he was prepared to end debate by majority vote, both parties arranged to have an up-or-down vote on a formal cloture rule.
senator clinton anderson a democrat from new mexico noted years later that walsh won without firing a shot. and senator paul douglas a democrat from illinois observed also years later that consent was given in 1917 because a minority of obstructing senats had senator walsh's proposal hanging over their heads. i note that the senate's 1970 cloture rule did not pertain to a president's nominations, nor did any senators during the debate on the adoption of the 1917 cloture rule discuss its possible application to nominations. this was not because senators wanted to preserve the right to filibuster nominees, rather senators did not discuss applying the cloture rule to nominations because the notion -- the notion -- of filibustering nominations was alien to them. it never occred to anybody that that would be done.
in the middle of the 20th century, senators of both parties on a nearly biannual basis invoked article 1, section 5, constitutional rule-making authority. their efforts were borne out of us from administration of the filibustering of civil rights legislation to protect black voters p. they filibustered antilynching bills in 1922, 1935, and 1938, antipoll tax bills in 1922, 1944 and 1946 and antirace discrimination bills. in 1959, majority leader lynn done johnson agreed to reduce the number required for cloture to two-thirds of senators who were present and voting because he was faced with a possibility th a majority would exercise its constitutional authority to reform senate procedure. he knew the constitutional
option was possible. additionally the senate has voted four times for the proposition that the majority has the authority to change senate procedures. for example, in 1969, senators were again trying to reduce the standard for cloture. that is to rule -- to cut off debate from 67 down 60, to shut off debate on this proposed rule change democratic senator church from idaho secured a ruling from the presidin officer, democratic vice president and former senator hum friday that a majority could shut off debate irrespective of much higher cloture requirement under the standing rules. a majority of senators then voted to invokeloture by a vote of 51-47 in accord with the ruling of vice president hum friday. th was the first time the senate voted in favor of a simple-majority proceed to your end debate. the senate reversed the vice
president's ruling on appeal but as senator kennedy later noted, "is subsequen vote only cemented the principle that a simple-majority determine the senate's rules. these were senator kennedy's words "although the ruling may have been reversed, the reversal was accomplished by a majority of the senate. in other words majority rule prevailed on the issue of the senate's power to change its rules." senator kennedy made this observation in 1975 when reformers were still trying to reduce the level for cloture from 67 down 60. reformers had been thwarted in their effort to leer this standard for several years. in 1975, once again, senate democrats asserted the constitutional authority of the stkwro*rt determine senate procedure in order to insure an
up-or-down vote. the senate eventually adopted a three-fifths cloture rule, that 160 votes to cut off debate but only after the senate voted on three separate occasions in favor of the peupbs principle that a simple majoritynd debate. they voted on three separate occasion that's a simple majority could end debate after which there was a compromise establishing the level at 60. the chief proponent of this principle was former democratic senator walter mondale and fou current democratic senators voted i favor of it, senator biden, senator leahy, senator kennedy and senator inowe way. indeed senator kennedy was -- was an essentially -- specialibly forceful adherent to the constitutional senate stkwro*rt govern, a mere
majority. he asked, "by what logic can the stphaft 1917 or 1949 bind the senate of 1975?" that was senator kennedy. he then echoed senator waller's observation -- quote -- "a majority may adopt the rules in the first place. it is preposterous that they may deny a later majority's the right to change them. senator kennedy made an astute observation as to why a majority of the senate had to have rule-making authority. senator kennedy said, "surely no one would claim that a rule adopted by one senate prohibiting changes in the rules except by unanimous consent could be binding on a future senate. if not, then why should one senate be able to bind future senates to a rule that such changean be made only by two-thirds vote?" recently,he authority to which
i've been referring has been called the constitutional option or the pejorative term, nuclear option. but while the authority of the majority to determine senate procedures has long been recognized, most often in senate history by our colleagues on the other side of the aisle, incidentally it was the senior senator from west virginia who employed this constitutional authority most recently, most effectively and most frequently. senator byrd employed the constitutional option four times in the late 1970's and 1980's. the context varied but three common elements were present each time. first, there was a change in senate procedure through a point of order ratr than through a text toural change to senate
les. second, the change was achieved influence a simple-majority vote. and third, t change in procedure curtailed the options of senators including their ability to mount different types of filibusters or otherwise pursue minority rights. senator byrd on four occasions.ñ as majority leader. the first time senator byrd employed the constitutional option was in 1977 to eliminate post-cloture filibuster by amendment. senate rule 22 provides once cloture is invoked, each member is limited to one hour of deba debate, and it prohibits dilatory and nongermane amendments. but because democratic senators howard metzenbaum of ohio and james aberisk of south dakota opposed deregulating natural gas prices, they used existing senate procedures to delay passage of a bill that would
have done so after cloture had been invoked. they stalled debate by repeatedly offering amendments without debating them, thereby delaying the post-cloture clock. if points of order were made against the amendments, they simply repeal the ruling of the chair, which was debatable, and if there were a motion to table the appeal, then there would have to be roll call votes. neither of these options would consume any post-cloture time after is 13 days of filibustering by amendment, the senate had suffered through -- now listen to this -- 121 roll call votes and endured 34 live quorums with no end in sight. under then-existing precedent, the presiding officer had to wait for a senator to make a point of order before ruling an amendment out of order. by creating a precedent, senator byrd changed that procedure.
he enlisted the aid of vice president walter mondale as presiding officer and made a point of order that the presiding officer now had to take the initiative to rule amendments out of order, that the chair deemed dilator vice president mondale sustained senator byrd's new point of order. senatorberisk appealed. but his appeal was tled by majority vote. the use of this constitutional option set a new precedent. it allowed the presiding officer to rule amendments out of order to crush post-cloture filibusters. with this new precedent in hand, senator byrd began calling up amendments and vice president mondale began ruling them out of order. with vice president mondale's help, senator byrd disposed 363 amendments, making short work of the metzenbaum-aberisk filibuster. nowes, years later senator byrd discussed how he created new
precedent to break this filibuster. this is what senator byrd said years later about what he d. he said, "i've seen filibusters. i've helped to break them. there are few senators in this body who were here wn i broke the filibuster on the natural gas bill. i asked mr. mondale, the vice president, to go please sit in the chair. i wanted to makeints of order and cree some new precedents that would break these filibusters. and the filibuster was broken -- back, neck, legs, and arms. back, neck, legs, and arms. it went away in 12 hours. n oroad wre may use.
senator by expressly embraced the senate majority's rule-making authority. back in january of 1979, majority leader byrd proposed a senate rule to greatly reform debate procedure. his proposed rules change might have been filibustered, so he reserved the right to use the constitutional option. here's what he said: he said, "i base thi resolion on article 1, section 5 of the constitution. there is no higher law, insofar as our government is concerned, than the constitution. the senate rules are subordinate to the constitution of the united states. the constitution in article 1, section 5 says that each house shall determine the rules of its proceedings... congress is not obliged be bound by the dead hand of the past..." "by the dead hand of the past."
senator byrd did not come to his conclusion lightly. in fact, in 1975, he had argued against the constitutional option but faced with a filibuster in 1979, he said he had simply changed his mind. and this is what he had to say: "i have not always taken that position, but i take it todayn light of recent bitter experience... so, i say to senators again that the time has come to change the rules. i want to change them in an orderly fashion. i want a time agreement." he went on to say, "but, barring that, if i have to be forced into a corner to try for majority vote, i will do it because i am going to do my duty as i see my duty, whether i win or lose. ... if we can only change an
abominable rule by majority vote, that is in the interests of the senate and in the tests of the nation that the majority must work its will. and it will work its will." now, senator byrd did not have to use the constitutional option in early 1979 because the senate relented -- relented under the looming threat and agreed to consider his proposed rule change through regular order. as another example, in 1980, senator byrd created a new precedent that is the most applicable, mr. president -- the most applicable to the current dispute here in the senate. is use of the constitutional option eliminated the possibility that one could filibuster a motion to proceed to a nomination. let me say that again. we're on a nomination now, mr. presiden on the executive calendar. the reason it was not possible to filibuster a motion to proceed to that nomination, we
can thank senator byrd in 1980 when he exercised the constitutional option to simply get rid of the ability to filibuster a motion to proceed to an item on the executive calendar. before march of 1980, reaching a nomination required two separate motions, a nondebatable motion to proceed to executive session, which could not be filibustered and which would put the senate on its first treaty on the calendar, and second debatable motion to proceed to a particular nominee, which could be filibustered. now, senator byrd changed this precedent by conflating these two motions, one of which was debatable, into one nondebatable motion. specifically, he made a motion to go direcy into executive session to consider the first nominee on the calendar. senator jesse helms made a point of order that this was improper.
under senate precedent, a person could not use a nondebatable motion to specify the business he wanted to conduct on the executive calendar. the presiding officer sustained snosh helms' point of order as being correct under senate rules and precedents. in a party-line vote, senator byrd overturned the ruling on appeal and because of this change inrecedent, it effectively is no longer possible to filibuster the motion to proceed to a nominee. so, mr. president, where are we? there are other examples where our distinguished colleague used the senate's authority to reform its procedures by a simple majority vote. we on this side of the aisle may have to employ the same procedure in order to restore the practice of affording judicial nominees an up-or-down vote. we did not cavalierly decide to use the constitutional option. like senator byrd in 1979, we arrived at this point after recent bitter experience, to
quote senator byrd. and only aft numerous attempts to resolve this problem through he other means had failed. here's all we've done, mr. president, in rmes to restore up-or-down votes for judges. wee offered generous unanimous consent requests. we've had weeks of debate. in fact, we spent 20 days on the current nominee. the majority leader offered the frist-miller rule compromise. all of these now are rejected. the specter protocols which would guarantee that nominations were not boted up in committee. that was offered by the majority leader. that was rejected. negotiations with the new leader, senator reid, hoping to change the practice from the previous leadership in the previous coness. that was rejected. the frist fairness rule
compromise. all of these, mr. president rejected. no unfortunately, none of these efforts have at least as of this moment borne any fruit. our democratic colleagues seem intent on changing the ground rules, as "the new york times" laid it out in 2002. they want to change the ground rules as they did in the prevus congress in how we treat judicial nominations. we are intent on going back to e way the senate operated quite comfortably for 214 years. there were occasional filibusters but cloture was filed and on every occasion where the nominee enjoyed majori support in the senate, cloture was invoked. we'll have an opportunity to do that in the morning with cloture on priscilla owen. colleagues on both sides of the
aisle who want to defuse this controversy have a way do did in the morning. that is to do what we did for 214 years. if there was a controversial nominee, cloture was filed, cloture was invoked, and that controversial nominee got an up-or-down vote. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. grassley: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senar from iowa. mr. mcconnell: il retain the floor, mr. president. mr. grassley: mr. president, would the senator yield for a question? mr. mcconnell: i would. i would be happy to yield to my friend from iowa. mr. grassley: yes, one of the things that the public at large can get confused about is that we're going to eliminate the use of the filibuster entirely. i've sn some of the -- i guess you call them 527 commercials advising constituents to get ahold of their congressman because minority rights are going to be trampled.
now, i obviously find that ludicrous. i know that this debate is not about changing anything dealing with legislation. it's just maintaining the system that we've had here in the united states senate on judges for 214 years, and i wonder if the senator would clear up tha we're talking just about judicial nominees and not even all judicial nominees, and nothing to change the filibuster on legislation. mr. mcconnell: i would say to my friend from iowa that if the majority leader does have to exercise the constitutional option and ask us to support it, it will be narrowly crafted to effect all circuit court appointments and the supreme cour which are, after all, the only areas where there has been a problem. i would furtheray to my friend from iowa that the only -- in the years that i've been in the senate, the only time anybody has tried to get rid of the entire filibuster was back in
1995 when such a measure was offered by the other side of the aisle. interestingly enough, the principal beneficiaries of getting rid of the filibuster in gang of 1995 would have-- --in january of 1995 would have been our party, because we had just come back four in the senate. and yet not a single republican -- not one -- voted to get rid of the filibuster. 19 democrats did, two of whom -- senator kennedy and senator kerry -- are still in the senate and now arguing, i guess, the exact opposite of their vote a mere ten years ago. mr. grassley: so when we just came back into the majority after the 1994 election, there was an effort by democrats to eliminate the filibuster? mr. mcconnell: entirely. mr. grassley: entirely, on legislation. mr. mcconnell: everything. mr. grassley: and we were a new majority? mr. mcconnell: right. mr. grassley: we would have benefited very much on that. it would have given us an opportunity to get almost anything done, no impediments
and swreeted against that? mr. mcconnell: unanimously and interesting enough, it was the first vote cast by our now majority leader, senator frist, right after he was sworn in here in the senate, the very first vote he cast, along with all the rest of us on this side of the aisle, was to keep the filibuster. mr. grassley: so i think that ought to keep it clear that we're talking just about the unprecedented use of the filibuster within the last two years. we're not talking about changing anything in regard to filibuster on legislation because we understand that that's where you can work compromises. you can't really work compromises bh it comes to an individual. it is either up or down but you can change words, you can change paragraphs, you can rewrite an entire bill to get to 60, to get to finality on any piece o legislation.ñ mr. mcconnell: mr. president, i was entirely correct, all
legislative items would be preserved. preserved even for district court judges where senators have historically played a special role in either selecting or blocking district judges. all of that would be preserved in we have to exercise the constitutionalption tomorrow, it would be narrowly crafted to deal only with the future supreme court appointments and circuit crt appointments, which are where we believe this aberrational behavior has been occurring in the past and may r in the future. mr. grassley: and maintain the practice of the senate as it's been for 214 years prioro two years ago? mr. mcconnell: that is precisely the point. my friend from iow is entirely correct. mr. grassley: i thank you very much, mr. president. i yield -- mr. hatch: just to make this clear, there are two calendars in the senate. one is the legislative calendar. the other is the executive calendar; is that correct? mr. mcconnell: that is correct.
mr. hatch: legislative calendar is the calendar for the senate? is that correct? mr. mcconnell: that is correct. mr. hatch: executive calendar involves the power granted by the president of the united states and the senate has the right to advice and consent on that power, on the exercise of that power? mr. mcconnell: that is entirely corct. mr. hatch: what we're talking about is strictly the executive calendarnding the inappropriate filibusters on the executive calendar and certainly not ending them on the legislative calendar? mr. mcconnell: my friend from utah i entirely correct. mr. hatch: our democratic friends argue -- just to change thsubject a little bit here -- they argue that we have to institute the judicial filibuster to maintain the principle of checks and balances as provided in the constitution. but unless my recollection of events is different, this contention does not fit with the historical record.
isn't it the case that the same party has often beein the white house and in the majority, like today, but in the past the same party has controlled both the white house and the majority in the senate, but y neither party, democrats or republicans, over the years has filibustered judicial nominees until this president's term? mr. mcconnell: my friend is entirely correct. the temptation may have been there, i would say to my friend from utah. the temptation may have been there. during the 20th century, the same party controlled the executive branch and the senate 70% of the time. 70% of the time in the 20th century the same party had the white house and a majority in the senate. so i'm sure -- and, by the way, that aggrieved minority in the senate for most of the time was our par, the republican party, during the 20th century.
we're hoping for a better century in the 21st century. but it was mostly our party. so there had to have been temptation from time to time and frustration on the part of the minority. 70% ofhe time in the 20th century they could have employed this tactic that was used in the last congress, but did not. senator byrd led the minority during a good portion of the reagan administration, actually during all of the reagan administration, six years in the minority, two years in the majority, senator byrd could have done that at any point. he did not do it, to his credit -- to his credit -- he did not yield to the temptation. as i often say, there are plenty of things we could do around here, but we don't do it because it's notood to do it. even though it's arguably permissible. so when our friends on the other side of the aisle say the filibuster has been around since
1806, they are right. it's just that we didn't exercise the option, because we thought it was an irresponsible thing to do. mr. hatch: the filibuster rule didn't come into effect until 1917. mr. mcconnell: no, the ability to stop the filibuster didn't come about until 1917. the ability to filibuster came about in 1806. mr. hatch: senators had the right to speak, and they could speak. so in a sense it wasn't even known as a filibuster at that time. nevertheless, they had the right to speak. if you could follow up on what you've said, we heard repeatedly from liberal interest groups that we must maintain the filibuster to maintain -- quote -- "checks and balances." now, my understandingf the constitution's checks and balances is that they were designed to enable one branch of government to restrain another branch of government. are there really any constitutional checks that empower a minority within one of
those branches to prevent the other branch from functioning properly? mr. mcconnell: i mean, my friend from utah is again entirely correct. the term checks and balances have absolutely nothing to do with what happened to circuit court appointments during the previous congress. the term check and balance means institutional checks against each other, the congress versus the president, the judiciary versus both. the balance of power among the branches of government, it has nothing whatsoever to do with this process to which the senate's been subjected in the last few years. it's simply a term that's inapplicable to the dilemma in which we find ourselves now. mr. hatch: one last thing. the 13 illustrations of the democraton the other side have given that they've said are filibusters, if i recall correctly, 12 of those 13 are now sitting on the federal bench, as you have said.
is that crect? mr. mcconnell: i would say to my friend from utah, as far as i can determine, every judge who enjoyed majority support upon which there was subsequently a filibuster, cloture was invoked, and all of those individuals now enjoy the title "judge." match hatch in other words, they're sitting on benches -- mr. hatch: in other words, they're sitting on benches today? mr. mcconnell: because they ultimately got an up-or-down vote. and we'll have an opportunity, i say to my friend from utah, we'll have an opportunity tomorrow in t late morning to handle the priscilla owen nomition the way our party, at your suggestion and senator lott's suggestion toward the end of the clinton years, handled the berzon and paez nominations. they had controversy about them, just as this nomination has controversy about it. how did we deal with controversy? we invoked cloture. and i rember you and senator lott saying to substantial grief
from some, that these judges, judge candidates had gotten out of committee and they were entitled to an up-or-down vote on the floor. and senator lott joined senator daschle and filed cloture on both those nominations not for the purpose of defeating them, but for the purpose of advancing them. they both got an up-or-down vote and they both are now called judge. mr. hatch: so the cloture votes in those instance wr-s floor management devices to get to a vote so we could vote those nominations to the bench. so they were hardly filibusters in that sense? mr. mcconnell: they were not. they were situations which do occur from time to time where you have a nominee that has some objection. and around here, if anybody objects, it could conceivably end up in a cloture vote. it doesn't mean that that -- mr. hatch: and spend a lot of time on the senate floor. mr. mcconnell: it doesn't mean that nomination is on the way to nowhere. it means that nomination is on the way to somewhere, because you invoke cloture, and then you
get an up-or-down vote. and i remember you as the chairman of the judicry committee advocating that step, even though we all ended up, many of u voting against those nominees once we got the vote. mr. hatch: advocating the step that we should invoke cloture? mr. mcconnell: exactly. mr. hatch: the 12 -- the 13, 12 of them are sitting on the bench. the 13th that ty mentioned was the fortas nomination. in that case there was the question of whether there was or was not a filibuster. let's give them the benefit of the doubt and say there was a filibuster since there are those who do say there was. although the leader of the fight, senator griffin, at the time said that they were not filibustering, that they wanted two more days of debate and that they were -- they were capable and they had the votes to win up and down. mr. mcconnell: he withdrew, didn't he? mr. hatch: he did. what happened was there was one cloture vote and it was not invoked. but even if you consider it a
filibuster, the fact is that it was not a leader-led filibuster. it was a filibuster that w fibustered by -- if it was a filibuster -- almost equally by democrats and republicans. mr. mcconnell: and isn't it also true, i'd ask my friend from utah, that it was apparent that justice fortas did not enjoy majority support in the senate and would have been defeated had he not withdrawn his nomination? mr. hatch: that's right. the important thing here is that it was a bipartisan filibuster against a nominee by both parts. and in this -- in these particular cases, these are leader-led partisan filibusters led by the other party. i thank my colleague. is that correct? mr. sessions: would the senator yield? mr. mcconnell: i'd be happy to yield. mr. sessions: i hope that senator hatch would remain a minu, because i think it's important. he was, during much of the first
years of my career in the senate, chairman of the judiciary committee. and i think it's important to drive homehat you've been discussing. i think it's so important. first, i would say to the distinguishedssistant majority leader how much i appreciate his comprehensive history of debate in the senate. i think it's valuable for everyone here. i remember the berzon and paez nominees. the supreme court of the united states had reversed the ninth circuit. both of these were nominees to theinth circuit. judge paez, a magistre judge, declared that he was an activist himself, as i recall, and en said that if legistion doesn't act, judges have a right to act. and the supreme court had reversed the ninth circuit 28 out of 29 times one year, consistently reversed them more than any other circuit in america. and here we had an aclu counsel
in marsha berzon and paez being nominated. and there was a lot of controversy over that. we had a big fuss over that. and we had a objection. i voted for 95% of the president's -- president clton's nominees, but i didn't vote for these two. and i remember we had a conference. now, i ask the assistant majority leader if we were having house members saying why don't you guys filibuster? people out on the streets saying don't let them put these activist judges on the bench. we had our colleagues saying it. i didn't know what to do. i was knew to the senate. and do you remember -- i was new to the senate. and do you remember that conference, when, senator hatch, when we had the majority in the senate and president clinton was of a different party? we weren't in the minority like the democrats are today. we had the majority. and he explained to us the history of filibusters, why we never used them against judges, and that -- and urged us not to
filibuster that -- the clinton nominees? mr. mcconnell: i remember it well. i would say to our colleague from utah, he got a little grief for that, from a number of members on our side of theisle who were desperately looking for some way to sin those nominations. and he said don't do it. don't do it. you'll live to regret it. and thanks to his good advic we never took the senate to the level -- never descended to the level that the senate has been in the previous congress. mr. sessions: let me ask this, and with the presence of the distinguished former chairman of judiciary in the room: at that very moment, when it was to the republican interest to initiate a filibuster if we chose to do so, at that moment when he was on principle opposing it, the very members of the opposite
party, leading senators on that side -- senator leahy and kennedy and feinstein and boxer -- were making speeches saying how bad the filibuster was and how it should not be done. mr. mcconnell: i would say to my friend that's why we've been quoting them so much in all of our speeches on this side of the aisle. i mean, you could just change the names, and they could have been given our speeches. i mean, as recently as 1998, 1999 and even 2000. mr. sessions: i couldn't agree more. half a dozen years ago the people who are leading the filibuster were the very ones objecting to it. but senator hatch and the republicans, isn't it fair to say, have been consistent? mr. mcconnell: absolutely. let's just be fair here. i'd say to both of my colleagues, without getting into the details of any particular nomination, that i think the democrats hav arguably a
complaint when they -- it has at least the patina of legitimacy, the argument that we simply did in committee what they're doing on the floor. the presiding officer: the time controlled b the majority has now expired.ñ con mr. president, i ask unanimous consent for an additional five minutes. i just asked consent for five more minutes. a senator: no objection. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: they argue that we simply did in committee what they're doing on the floor and there's not a dime's worth of difference between holding up a nominee in committee and holding up a nominee on the floor. i think there areome distinctions to be made. it's not entirely the same thing, but granting that might have some legitimate circumstances the majority leader offered these specter protocols with which the former chairman of the judiciary is intimately familiar, which would have granteed some
kind of procedure to extricate those nominations from committee and bring them out on to the floor and give them an up-or-down vote. so we're in the majority. weolunteered to give up the abilityo routinely kill nominations in committee , and yet they turned that down, too. mr. sessions: i would just add -- a senator: would the senator yield on that point? a senator: the fact of the matter is there have always been holdovers at the end of every administration. there were 54 holdovers at the end of the bush 1 administration, and he was only there four years. mr. hatch: we didn't cry and moan and groan and threat on the blow up the senate over that. we recognized it was part of the process. i have to say, with regard to the holdovers there at the end of the clinton administration, there wereome i wished
i could have gotten through, but there were like 18 that were withdrawn, 10 withdrew their names. some were not put up again between the two administrations. there's no question that i tried to do the very best i could to get president clinton every possible edge, but this has always been the case. it isn't just this time. it happened with democrats in control of the senate and republicans in control of the white house, and i think that point needs to be made. i've heard a lot of moaning and groaning here, but i know my lleagues know that i did everything in my power to accommodate them and help them. mr. mcconnell: i think that's entirely correct. the only point i was seeking to make is if that criticism had any validity whatsoever, and the former chairman has pointed out it has very little legitimate circumstances but if it did, the distinguished majority leader offered to make that essentially impossible, and yet that
was rejected, as well. mr. president, let me conclude -- mr. sessions: would the senator yield for one more question? mr. mcconnell: i yield. mr. sessions: isn'it true that trent lott, the republican majority leader, sought cloture to give berzon and paez an up-or-down vote and those those of us who opposed berzon and paez, like i think the senator from kentucky did, we voted for cloture to give them an up-odown vote, and then voted against them when they came up for the up-and-down vote. mr. mcconnell: the senator from alabama is entirely correct. that's the way i voted. i think it's the way he voted. that's the way the senate ought to operate. that's a good model for how we ought to behave tomorrow. we'll have a cloture vote on justice priscilla owen. if the senate wants to operate the way it used to, we'll invoke cloture on justice owen and give her the up-or-down vote which she richly deserves.
mr. prident, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. nawr thank you, mr. president. mr. lautenberg: the argument, the debate bounces back and forth, and we hear the complaints about the change in the system, one that's been in existence for some 200 years. it was formally adopted in the early part of t 20th century. i see, mr. president, the fact that the traditions and rules of the united states senate are frankly in deep jeardy. the current majority leader is threatening to annihilate over 200 years of tradition in this senate by getting rid of our right to extended debate. the senate will be here
as a result of this nuclear option, will be a dreary, bitter, i think far more partisan landscape, even though it obviously prevents us from operating with any kind of consensus. it will only serve, in my view, to make politics in washington much more difficult. one has to wonder, what happened to the claims that were made so frequently, particularly in the election in the year 2000, when the then-candidate bush, now president, talked about being a uniter, not a divider, and it's been constantly referenced. i want the unite the american people, not divide them. with this abuse of power, the majority is about to further divide our nation with the precision of a sledgehammer. i want the american people to understand what's going to happen
here on the floor of the united states tomorrow if things go as planned. vice president cheney, who we rarely see in this chamber, is going to come here for the specific purpose of breaking existing rules for the operation of the united states senate. he's going to s in the the presiding officer's chai and do something that, frankly, i don't remember here in my more than 20 years in the senate. he could intentionally misstate, if what we hear is what we're going to get, the rules of this senate. so i want to think about this irony. vice president cheney gets to help nominate federal judges, then when the senate objects to the administration's choices, he's going to come over here and break our rules to let his judges through. talk about abuse of power. the founding fathers would shudder at the thought of this scenario, and it runs counter to the entire
philosophy of our constitution, the separation. our constitution created a system that they thought would make it impossible for a president to abuse his powers, but tomorrow we're going to see what happens to a coup d'etat, a takeover right here in the united states senate. the senate, just like society a large, has rules, and we make laws here and wbrag about the fact that this is a country of laws. we make laws here and expect americans to follow them. now the majority leader wants the senate to make it easier for the republican senators to change the rules when you don't like the way the game is going. what kind of an example does that set for the country? some may ask, if we don't follow our own rules, why should the average american follow the rules that we make here? and if the majority leader wants to change the rule, there's a
legal way to do a conoversial senate rule change is supposed to go through the rules committee, and once it reaches the full senate for consideration, it needs 67 votes to go into operation, into effect. rather tha follow the rules, vice president cheneyill break the rules from his position as the presiding officer and change the rules by fiat. so in other words, we'll see an attempt to overthrow the united states senate as we know it, and hopefully some courageous senors will step forward, vote their conscience and put a stop to this once and for all. there are several people who disagree with their leader on the republican side and they've expressed their unwillingness to go through with this rugged, muscular taover of the united states senate. it's unbefitting the
body. president bush and the majority leader want to get rid of the filibuster because it's the only thing standing between them and absolute control of our government and our nation. they think the senate should be a rubber stamp for the president, and that's not what our founders intended. it's an abuse of power and it's wrong, whether republican or a democrat lives in the white house. i say to the american people, please get past the process debate here and let's not forget how important our federal judges are. they make decisions about what rights we have under our constitution. they make decisions about whether our education and environmental laws will be enforced. they make decisions about whether or not we continue to have health care as we know it. and sometime, let us not forget, they may even step in to decide a presidential election. the constitution says that the senate must advise and consent before a president's judicial nominations are
allowed to take the bench. it doesn't say advise and relent. it doesn't say consent first and then advise. as democratic leader harry reid recently said, george bush was elected president, not king. the founding fathers wa h -- washington, jefferson, madison did not want a king, and that's why the constitution created the senate as a check on the president's power. with terrible ideas like social security privatization coming from the presint these days, the american people are thankful that we're here to stop it. president bush once famously said -- and i quote him -- "if this were a dictatorship, i'd be a heck of a lot easier just as long as i'm the dictate qor." -- dictator." i'm hopeful president bush was kidding when he said tt, but the president's allies don't seem to be.
they want the senate to simply approve every bush nominee regardless of their record. mr. president, we have confirme 208 of president bush's judges appointed. be there are several that we objected to because we felt they were too extreme and they voiced their opinions. this wasn't based on hearsay. it was based on things they said. too extreme to s on the federal bench. the republican side of the aisle calls that the tyranny of the minority, but in the senate, mr. president, who is the minority and who is the majority? when you do the path on the curnt senate, you'll find that the majority is actually in the minority. the minority is the majority. here's what i mean. majority or minority. current senate, republican caucus, 55 senators. they represent 144 -- 765,000 americans.
2emocratic caucus, less senators, 45 as opposed to 55. they represent 148,300,000 some americans. where is the minority here? in this chart, each senator i aotted one half of his or her state's population just to explain how we got there. what you find is that the minority in this body, the democratic caucus, represents 3.5 million more people than does the majority. that's exactly what the founding fathers wanted, to protect minority rights in this senate, because a minority of senators may actually represent a majority of the people. how do you discard that and say, well, we'll the majority, we're the majority, but you don't own the place. it's supposed to be a consensus government. and particularly in the united states senate. i make one last appeal to the majority leader, don't take this destructive action.
i wanthe american people to understand one thing: the big fight here is because the people who will get these positions have lifetime tenure. at means they could be here 20, 30 or 40ears. i have faith in the courage of my colleagues across the aisle, and i hope they're going to put loyalty to their country ahead of loyalty to a political party. with that, i yield the time, mr. president. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from indiana. a senator: thank you, mr. president. i want to compliment my colleague from new jersey for his eloquence and for his insight into the important role that the filibuster has always played in building consensus in our society. mr. bayh: mr. president, it is unfortunate that we are here. it is unfortunate for this institution, it is
unfortunate for the members of this body, it is unfortunate for our country and for t political process that governs us all. mr. president, let there be no illusions -- there will be no winners here. all will lose. the viktors in their momentary triumph will find that victory is ephemeral. the losers will nurture their resentments until the tables one day turn, as they inevitably will, and the recrimination cycle will begin anew. this sorry episode, mr. president, proves how divorced from the reality of most of america washington and the elites that too often govern here have become. at times when americans cry out for action o health care, the economy, the deficit, national security, at a time when challenges form around us that
threaten to shape the future, here we are obsessing about the rules of the united states senate and a small handful of judges. at times like this, mr. president, i feel more like an ambsador to a foreign nation than a representative in my own. this episode feeds the cynicism and the apathy that have plagued the american people for too long. it brings this institution and the process that have brought us here into disrepute and low esteem. no wonder so few of our citizens take the time to exercise even the mo elementary act of citizenship, the act of going to the polls to vote. very briefly, mr. president, let me say what this is all about.ñ but let me begin by saying what it is most definitely not about. this is not about the precedence and history of this body. it has been interesting to sit silently and observe colleagues on both sides of the aisle make
appeals to precedent and history, and both do so with equal passion. history will not provide an answer to the situation that confronts us. it's not about whether nominees get an up-or-down vote. in fact, it's about the threshold for confirmation that nominees should be held to: a simple majority or something more. it's not about wheth the chief executive will have his way the vast majority of the time. this president has seen 96% or more of his nominees confirmed by this senate. a high percentage by any reckoning. this debate is not about whether there are ideological or partisan tests being aflied to nominees. i would assume that the 200-and-some nominees sent before us by this president are for the most part members of his party. i would assume most of them share his ideology and yet more than 200 have been confirmed.
there are no litmus tests here. mrpresident, this in real part is about the value that we as a people place upon consensus in a diverse society. it is about the reason that the separation ofowers and the balance of powers were created by the founders of this republic in the first place. and it is ultimately about whether we recall our own history and in the understanding of human nature itself. the occasional passions and excesses and zeals of the moment that lead us to places that threaten consensus and the very social fabric of this republic. it is about, mr. president, the value that we place upon restraint in such moments. is it unreasonable to ask that more than a simple majority be required for confirmation to lifetime appointments to the courts of appeals or the supreme court of the united states, who will render justice and interpret the most fundamental,
the basic framing documents of this nation? should something more than a bare majority be required for lifetime appointments to positions of this importance and magnitude? i believe it should. shouldn't we be concerned about a lack of consensus on such appointees who will be called upon to rule upon some of the most profound decisions which inevitably touch upon the litical process itself. i think my colleague, senator lautenberg, mentioned the decision in gore vs. bush. and if the american people come, or at least a sizable minority of the american people come, to conclude that individuals who are rendering these verdicts are unduly ideological or perhaps unduly partisan themselves, will this not undermine the respect for lawnd the political process itself and ultimately undermine our system of governce which has brought us here? i fear that it might. and essentially, mr. president,
aren't theseoncerns -- these concerns -- respect for the rule of law, respect for the independence of the judiciary, the importance of building consensus, and the need in times of crisis to lay aside the passions of the moment and understand the importance of restraint on the part of the majorities, aren't these concerns more fundamentally important to the welfare of this republic than four or five individuals and the identities those who will fill these vac ncies? the answer to that must be unequivocally "yes." but there are deeper conrns than even these, mr. president. the real conrns that i have with regard to this debate have to do with the coursening of america's politics. in the 6 1/2 years that i have been honored to serve in this body, mr. president, there have been just two moments, two moments of true unity when partisanship and rancor and acrimony was placed aside.
the first was in the immediate aftermath of the first impeachment of a president since 1868 and the feeling that perhaps, perhaps we had gone too far. the second was in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, when our country had literally been attacked and there was a palpable understanding that we were first not republicans or democrats but first and foremost americans. it is time, mr. president, for us to recapture that spirit once again. today all too often we live in a time of constant campaigns and politicking, an atmosphere of "win at any cost," an aura of ideological extremism which makes principled compromise a vice not a virtue. today, mr. president, all too often it is the political uivalent of social darwinism, the survival of the fittest, a world in which the strong do as they will and the weak support what ty must.
america deserves better than that. i would like to say to you, mr. president and my colleagues on the other side of the aisle and even to this president, that yo two have suffered at our hands. occasionally we have gone too far. occasionally we have behaved in ways that are injudicious. i think particularly about the president's own brother, who was brout to the brink of personal bankruptcy because he was pursued in an investigation by the congress. not because he hadlundered a savings and loan but because he happened to be the president's son. that, too, was wrong. that, too. each of us is to blame, mr. president, and more importantly, each of us has a responsibility for taking us to the better place that the american people have a right to deserve. there is a need for unity in this land once again. we need to remember the words of a great civil rights leader who
once said, we may have comeo these shores on different ships but we're all in the same boat now. we need to remember the truth that too many in public life don't want us to understand, that, in fact, we have more in common than we do that divides us. we are children of the same god, citizens of the same nation, one country, indivisible with a common heritage forged in a common bond and a common destiny. it's about time we started behaving that way. we need to remember, mr. president, the words of robert kennedy, who was in my home state the day martin luther king was assassinated. indianapolis, indiana, was the only major city in our country that escaped the violence of that day. most attribute it to because of kennedy's presence in our city. he went into indianapolis that evening and befe a crowd of several thousand, mostly minority citizens, he went up on a flatbed truck and he looked at
the audience, and he said, "i'm afraid that i have some bad news. martin luther king was killed today." and a gasp went up from the audience. he said, for those of you who were tempted to lash out in anger andiolence, i can only say that ioo had a relative who was killed. he, too, was killed by a white man. and kennedy went on to say, what america needs today in these desperate times is not more hatred or more anger or more divisiveness. what america needs today is mor unity, more compassion, and more love for one another. that was true in 1968. it is true today. the time has come, mr. preside mr. president, for the sons and daughters of lincoln and the eras of jefferson and jackson to no longer wage war upon each
other but instead to take up ain our struggles against the aancient enemies of man: ignorance, poverty, and disease. that is what has brought us he here. that is why we serve. mr. president, we need to rediscover the deeper sense of patriotism that has always made this nation such a great place. not as democrats or independen independents, not as residents of the south or the east or the west, not as liberals or conservatives or those who have ideological compass but as one nation, understanding the threats that face us, determined to lead our country forward to better times. and so i will cast my vote, mr. president, against changing
the rules of this senate. r all of the reaso i have mentioned in my brief remarks and those who have been mentioned by speakers before me. but more than that, mr. president, i will cast my vote in the profound belief that this is a rare opportunity to put the arrange money aside -- to put the arrange money aside -- acrimony aside, to put us on a path to reconliation, more understanding, and cooperation for the greater good. and if in so doing i and those of similar mind c drain even a single drop of blood of -- of venom from the blood that has coarsed through the body of this politic for too long, then we will have done our duty to this senate and to the republican take has sent us here, and that is reward enough for me. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president?
the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. reed: thank you, mr. president. first let me begin by commending my colleague, the senator from indiana, for his wise and eloquent words tonight. thank you, senator bayh. thank you very much. this morning, mr. president, i had the occasion to meet with members of my press and the public at the old statehouse in providence, rhode island, the scene of our government -- the seat of our government for many, many years in the early days of this country. in fact, in 170, george washington and thomas jefferson enjoyed a banquet in that building to celebrate the constitution of the united states, that careful balancing of majority power and minority rights. unfortunately, in these days in washington, we are on the verge of upsetting that balance, of using minority -- of, rather, using majority power to undermine minority rights. and in doing so, stilling the
voices of millions of americans, the millions of americans that we represent. and not just geographically represent, millions of americans, the poor, disabled, those who fight vigorously for environmental quality, all of those individuals will see their voices diminished and perhaps extinguished if we choose this nuclear option. the senate was created to protect the minority. it was also clely envisioned to serve as che on presidential power, particularly on its power to appoint judges. indeed, it was up to the very last day of the constitutional convention in 1787 that the founding fathers decided to move the power to appoint federal judges from the control exclusively of the senate to that of a process of a presidential nominee with the advice and consent of the senate.
indeed, in those last days, there was a shiftf power but not a surrender of power. this senate still has an extraordinary responsibility to review, to carefully scrutinize the records of those individuals who would serve for a lifetime on our federal courts. it is very important that the american people when they come before the bar of federal justice, when they stand before a justice of the united states to feel, to kw that that individual has passed a very high test, that individual is not a republican judge or a democratic judge, not an ideologue of the right or an ideologue of the left, but they have been accepted by the broad base support of the united states senate and they stand not for party but for law and the united states of america.
we're in danger of upsetting that balance, of putting on the court people who are committed to an ideological plan. we are seeing people who are being presented to us who will i think undermine that sense of confidence that the american people must have in the judges they face in the courts of this land. and, indeed, it's also ironic that today, as we discuss this issue of eviscerating minority rights in the united states nate, we hear our leaders talk about the necessity, the absolute necessity of protecting the minority in iraq. if you listen to the president, or secretary of state rice and everyone, they talk about how essential it is to ensure that there are real procedural protections for the sunni minority in iraq. in fact, what they are trying to do in iraq they are trying to
undo here in america by stripping away those procedural protections that give the minority a real voice in our government. in a recent "national review" article, john cullenin, a former senior foreign policy advisor to the united states catholic bishops, said it very well. he posed the question in this way, "will iraq's overwhelming shiite majority accept structural restraints in the form of guaranteed protections for others, or does the majority see its dographic predominance as mandate to exercise the monopoly of political power?" and this i think, a very telling phrase, sums it up: "does a 60% majority translate into 100% of the political pie?" the question we'll answer today andomorrow and this week: does a 55-vote majority in the senate translate to 100% of the political pie when it comes to naming federal judges? just as it's wrong in iraq, i
believe it's wrong here.÷ becae without minority protections, without the ability of the minority to exercise their rights, to raise their voice, this process is doomed to a very difficult, and i think, disastrous end. we have today measures before us that threaten the filibuster. and i believe that this is not the end of the story in this nuclear option prevails. because i think the pressure by the interest groups that are pushing this issue, the far right, who are demanding that this nuclear option be exercised, will not be satisfied by simply naming judges. because that's just part of what we do. they will see in the days ahead if this nuclear option succeeds
opportunities to strike out our ability to stop legislative proposals, to stop other executive nominees. they'll be unsatisfied and unhappy that in the course of debate and deliberation here we're in the willing to accept their most extreme views about social policy, about economic policy, about the world at large. and the pressure that is building today would be brought to bear on other matters. so this is a very decisive moment and a very decisive step. i hope we can avoid stepping over into the abyss. i hope we canaintain the protections that have persisted in this chamber in one form or another for 214 years. the rules give senators many opportunities to express themselves. it's not just theere are procedl committee hearings, to call up nominees that have been appointed, and i need not remind
many people here that at least 60 of president clinton's dicial nominees never received an up-or-down vote. and it is ironic, to say the least, that manyho participated in that process now claim a constitutional right for an up-or-down vote for federal nominee to the bench. in fact, according to the congressional research, since 1945, approximately 18% of judial nominees have not received a final vote. by that measure, president bush has done remarkably well by his nominees. 218 nominees, 208 confirmations. a remarkable record. which shows not obsucon but cooperation, which shows that this senate acting together with at least 60 votes, but still exercising its responsibility to
carefully screen judges have made decisions that by a vast majority favor the president's nominees. that is is not a record of obstruction. that's a record of responsibility. and again, at the heart of this is not simply the interplay of senators and politics. at the end of the day, we have to be able to demonstrate to the american public that if they stand before a federal judge, they will be judged on the law. they will be judged by m and women with judicial temperament, that understand not only the law and precedent, but understand they have been given the responsibility to do justice, to demonstrate fairness. if we adopt this procedure rand able to ram through politically idea logically motivated judges that confidence might be fatally
shaken, and that would do damage to this country. an the procere being proposed is not the straightforward attempt to change the rules of the senate because that also requires a supermajority. no, this is a parliamentary employ, and end run aren't rules of the senate. a circumvention and a circumvention that will do violence to the pros sesz here -- process here and against create a terrible example for the american public. we have difficult choices before us. there are those who suggest that it is somehow unconstitutionalal not to provide an up-or-down vote. where were they when the 60 judges nominated by president clinton were denied an up-or-down vote? no, the rul of the senate prevail at that time as they should preil at this time because the constitutional clearly states that each house
may determine the rules of its proceedings and we have done that in a myriad of ways and will continue to do that. and the right to unlimited debate in this senate one -- is one of those rules that has been enforced for many, many years. now, we are involved in a debate that has huge consequences for the country and for the senate. i believe that this institution must remain in place, where even an individual senator can stand up and speak in such a way and at such length that he not only arose its the conscience ofhe country but he is able to deflect the country away from deign russ path. in 1930's president roosevelt also had problems with the court system he thought. he decided h would pack the courts.
he would propose the expansion of the united states supreme court even though it was supported by the majority leader at that time, it was brought to this floor and a small band of united states senators stood up and spoke and convinced the public of the wrongness of that path and saved this country, and saved president roosevelt from a grave mistake. today, once again, we're debating of the future of a judicial system, and i believe without the filibuster, we will make grave mistakes about who goes on our courts and what will be the makeup of those courts. it might be that i have a particular fondness for the saeublt to -- ability to represent those who are not numerous. i come from the smallest state geographically in the country, rhode island. we have two senators. we have two members of the united states house of representatives.
but myself and my colleague senator chafeee stand up and speak and from the force of any of the largest states in this country that is an essential part of our federal system, an essential part of constitution that provided this wise balance between majority rule and minority rights, majority power and minority rights. and we are in danger of seeing that power, i believe, arrogantly displayed, potentially undercutting the rights of one senator or two senators or eight senators to stand up, to speak truth to power, to challenge the views, to awaken the conscience of the country, to prevent the accumulation of so much power that we slowly and perhaps inperceptively sde to a position where there is no effective challenge. and that would do great
disservice to this constitutional balance. mr. president, this is a serious debate. a very serious debate. it is one in which i hope cooler heads prevail it's one in which i hope we all step back and recognize that what we do will effect this institution and that this country for a longime, that we refrain from invoke th-gt nuclear option. that we recognize the tradition itss -- traditions of senate because they have served us well. they will continue to serve us well. they will ensure that we continue to speak not just as an exercise in rhetoric but have real effect in this body the greatest deliberative assembly the world has ever known. mr. president, with that i would yield the floor to my colleague from michigan. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan.
mr. levin: mr. president, president harry truman once said that the only thing new in the world is the history that you don't know. and so it is today with those who think this efforto amend the rules by breaking them, the nuclear option s something new under the sun. this is not the first time that it has been tried. sadly, there have been a few original efforts to amend the rules by fiat but, and this is the cruci point, the senate has never done it. whenever an effort was made to change the rule by fiat, it has been rejected by this body. there are procedures for amending the senate's rules and the senate is always insisted that they be followed. previous cases, the majority of stphrorz stood up for that principle, often over the wishes of their own party's leader.
it's my hope there will be a majority ofuch senators today. i entered some of that history in the congressional r0rd last week and i'll not repeat it all now. one incident stands out and bears repeating. after tk-g so i'll add a second chapter to that incident. in 1949 vice president alban bar clay ruled that the cloture a34r50eud to a motion to proceed to consideration of a bill, in other words, that rule 22, which allows for the cutoff of debate, applied to a motion to proceed to consideration of a bill. the ruling was contrary to senate precedent and against the advice of the senate parliamentarian. it was made despite the fact that rule 22 as it then existed clearly provided only that the pending matter was subject to
cloture. the senate rejected vice president bar clay's ruling by a vote of 46-41. significantly, 23 democratic senators, nearly half of the democrats voting, opposed the ruling by the vice president of their own party. later, the senate, using the process providing by senate rules, by a vote of 63-23, adopted a change in rule 22 to include a motion to proceed. after that rule change, changed according to the procedures for amending rules, a supermajority could end a debate on a motion to proceed to a bill, for instance, as well as ending debate on the bill itself. last week i quoted the words of one of the giants of senate history, senator arthur van
denberg of michigan about that debate, this is what the senator said, "i continue to believe that the rules of the senate are as important to equity and order in the senate as is the constitution to theife of the republic. and that those rules should never be changed except by the senate itself in the direct fashion prescribed by the rules themselves." and senator vandenberg continued, "one of the immutable truths in washington's farewell address which cannot be altered even by change events in a changing world is the following sentence: the constitution which at any te exists until changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people is sacredly on pwhreug tory upon all. the father of this country said
to us by analogy, the rules of the senate which at any time exist until changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole senate are sacredly on pwhreug tory upon all." he continued,when a substantive change is made in the rules by sustaining a ruling of the presiding officer of the senate, and that is what i contend is being undertaken here, it does not mean that the rules are permanently changed. it simply means, he said, that regardless of precedent or traditional practice, the rules hereafter mean whatever the presiding officer of the senate plus a simple majority of senators voting at the time want the rules to mean. we fit the rules to the occasion. instead of fitting the occasion to the rules. therefore, in the final analysis, under such
circumstances, there are no rules except the transient unregulated wishes of a majority of whatever quorum is temporarily in control of the senate. and, senator vandenberg added, "that mr. president, is not my idea of greatest deliberative body in the world. no matter how important the pending issues immedia incidence may seem to everybody today the integrity of the senate's rules is our pour h- paramount concern today, tomorrow and so long as this great institution lives." senator vandenberg continued, "this is a solemn decision reaching far beyond the immediate consuence and it involves just one consideration what do the present senate rules mean?ñ
and for sake of law and order, shall they be protected in that meaning until changed by e senate itself in the fashion required by the rules. senator vandenberg eloquently summarized what is at the root of the nuclear option -- quote -- "the rules of the senate as they exist at any given time and as they are clinched by precedent should not be changed substantively by the interpretive action of the senate's the presiding officer, even with the transient sanction of an equally transient senate majority. the rules can be safely changed only by the direct and conscious action of the senate itself, act in the fashion prescribed by the rules. otherwise, no rule in the senate is worth the paper that it is written on.
and this so-called greatest deliberative bodty in the world is at the mercy of every change in parliamentary authority. mr. president, tonight i do more than underscore the foresightful words of senator vandenberg, which are all the more significant, because as he made clear, he agreed that the senate's cloture rule needed to be changed in the fashion proposed, but not by using the illegitimate process proposed of amending our rules by fiat of a the presiding officer. now, there was even more to it, and it is again directly relevant to the proceeding that is pending. the year was 1948, one year before the barkley ruling, which i just described. senator vandenberg was president pro tempore of the senate and was presented with a motion to end debate on a motion to proceed to consideration of an antipoll tax bill.
senator vandenberg ruled as the presiding officer that the then-language of rule 22 providing a procedure for terminating debate for "measures before the senate," did not apply to cutting off debate on the motion to proceed to a measure, even though he thought that it should on the merits. so he ruled against what he believed in on the merits because of his deep belief in the integrity of the rules of the united states senate. and in making that ruling, again while serving as the presiding officer, this is what senator vandenberg said, that the president pro tempore, that's him, finds it necessary before nowd announcing his decision to state again that he is not passing on the merits of the poll tax issue, nor
is he passing upon the desirability of a much stronger cloture rule in determining this point of order. the president pro tempore is not entitled to consult his own predilections or his own convictions in the use of this authority. he must act in his capacity as an officer of the senate, under oath to enforce its rules as he finds them to exist, whether he likes them or not. of all the precedents, he said, necessary to preserve, this is the most important of them all, otherwise the preservation of any minority rights for any minority at any time would become impossible. senator vandenberg continued, "the president pro tempore is a sworn agent of the law as he finds the law to be. only the senate has the right to change the law. the president pr tempore feels that he's entitled particularly to
underscore this axiom in the present instance because the present circumstances themselves bring it to such bold and sharp relief." and he furthered stated, again referng to, in his capacity as a senator, the president pro tempore favors the passage of this antipoll tax measure. he is similarly voted on numerous previous occasions in his capacity as president pro tempore believes that the rules of the senate should permit cloture upon the pending motion to take up the antipoll tax measure. but in his capacity as president -- president pro tempore, the senior senator from michigan is bound to recognize what he believes to be the clear mandate of the senate rules and the senate precedence, name
-- precedent, namely that no such authority presently exists. so again, senator vandenberg says that he believes the rules of the senate should be changed to permit cloture on the pending motion to take up the antipoll tax measure but he is bound to recognize those rules. he cannot rule against what the rules clearly provide. and senator vandenberg then went on the say, if the senate wishes to cure this impotence, it has the authority, the power andhe means to do so. the president pro tempore of the senate does not have the authority, the power or the means to do so except as he arbitrarily takes the law into his own hands. this he declines to do in violation of his
oath. if he did so, he would feel that what might be deemed temporary advantage by some could become a precedent which ultimately in subsequent practice would rightly be condemned by all. i want to emphasize senator vandenberg's point for our colleagues. in the view of that great senator, it would have been a violation of his oath of office to change the senate rules by fiat. to rule as the presiding officer contrary to the words of the senate rules, even though he personally agreed with the proposition that the rule needed to be changed. senator vandenberg's ruling was a doubly difficult one because it left the senate with no means of cutting off
debate on the motion to proceed to a measure. the senate then voted to change the rules a year or so later with senator vandenberg's support to allow for cutting off debate on the motion to proceed. senator vandenberg's word and his example are highly relevant to us today. the majority leader's tactic to have the presiding officer by decree, by fiat, to amend our rule, by exercising the so-called nuclear option is wrong. it has always been wrong, and the senate has rejected it in the past. i want to just simply read that one last line of senator vandenberg one more time. "in his capacity as a setor, the president pro tempore, senator vandenberg, favors the
passage of the measure before it. he's voted for it on similar occasions, he said. in his capacity as president pro tempore, he believes the rules of the senate should permit -- should permit -- cloture on the pending motion to take up the measure, but -- and this is the but which everybody in this chamber should think about -- in his capacity as president pro tempore, the senior senator from michigan is bound to recognize what he believes to be the clear mandate of the senate rules and the senate precedents, namely that no such authority presently exists. for him to rule as president pro tempore ainst the clear meang of rule 22, he said, would be take-to-take the law, the rule into his own
hands. senator vandenberg was not about to do that. rule 22 is clear. it takes 60 votes to end debate on any measure, moon or other matter pending before the senate. it doesn't make an exception for nomination of judges. the nuclear option is not an interpretation of rule 22. it runs headlong scboo into the wordsf rule 22 and our rules. we in this body are the custodians of a great legacy, but the unique senate legacy can be lost if we start down the road of amending our rules by fiat of a the presiding officer. we're going to be jged by future generations for what we do here this week. arthur vandenberg has been judged by history,
as well. if you want to know what the verdict of history is relative to arthur vandenberg, just look up when we leave this chamber at arthuvan den berg's portrait in the senate reception room, alongside of just six other giants from more than 215 years of senate history. as the present-day custodians of the great senate tradition, we shouldphold that tradition by rejecting an attempt to change the rules by arbitrary decree of the the presiding officer instead of by the process in our rules for chaining our rules -- changing our rules. we must reject that attempt to rule by fiat instead of by duly adopted rules of the united states senate. in that way we will pass on to us a senate that is enhanced and not diminished by
[video clip] >> the debate over senate rules was the topic on many sunday morning shows yesterday including abc's "this week" with senators orrin hatch and amy klobuchar weighing in on the discussion. from mitchs mcconnell and harry reid on nbc's "meet the press." >> i continue to fight against phil about dish filibusters with regard to judicial nominations. i think whoever the president may be ought to have the full choice of who they put on the unless there is some overwhelming reason why somebody should never be on the bench. let's be honest about it. the democrats at that time said that it would be a disaster for the senate, that it would destroy the senate. harry reid made multiple statements like that. now they are using that when we put through an immigration bill, a major bill. we put through a farm bill, a
water bill, a big major bill. through 1564 nominations, and only for were defeated -- only four were defeated. what is the problem? >> i think a president should have a right to put a team up there. -- for the most part, i do not understand why four of these nominees, i'm not talking about judges that the president's team, of which there are currently over 180 people that are pending right now before the senate for the executive office nomination, why we cannot do 51 votes is beyond me. it is not like we can amend a person. we have to vote if they are in or out. i do not think we should necessarily change the right of the minority to have their views aired on legislation, but when it comes to the president's team, we have so much to work on in the economy, retouching that the immigration bill, workforce
training, ringing down our debt -- our country is in such a good position to gain in the international stage, but we are just fighting over an epa director who used to work for mitt romney, and now they are going to stop her from getting confirmed? i think it is ridiculous and i'm hoping monday night we will have a joint caucus meeting, and then i wish they did more of in the house. [laughter] >> it would be amazing. >> republicans and democrats are getting together. i hope we can work this out. >> the changes we are making are very minimal. saying,are doing is american people, shouldn't president obama have working for him that he wants? filed cloturewe on better pending, they have been waiting an average of nine months. is that good? do we want to continue that? we are going to make a simple change great at we are going to do is say, in the future, just like the constitution outlines -- it is pretty specific -- if
you want a super majority vote, looking at a treaty, but if you want the nomination, do you know what the founding fathers said? a simple majority. >> what is the problem? has had 1540 of his nominations confirmed, only for defeated. he has not lost a single member of the cabinet. he is getting them faster than president bush was at the same time in his second term. majority leader needs to bring these nominees up. most of them are going to be confirmed. it really comes down to three appointments that the federal courts have told us were unconstitutionally recess appointed. two members of the nrl be, and the cfp be. we need to talk about that. we will talk about it at a rather unusual joint session in the old senate chamber on monday with all senators. we need to start talking to each other instead of at each other.
>> the debate over changes to senate rules continues today when senate majority leader harry reid gives his thoughts on the proposed changes at the center for american progress here in washington. see the majority leader's remarks live at 10:30 a.m. eastern here on c-span. later the majority leader is scheduled to meet with senators at 6:00 p.m. eastern and the old senate chamber of the u.s. capitol. that meeting will be closed off to cameras, here is a look at the chamber and its preserved condition. ♪ >> i would have enjoyed being in
the old senate chamber on the day it reopened. a marvel of architecture and engineering, a marvel of american can-do spirit. such a have been startling contrast to everything around it, everything else in the city, so muddy and dusty. everything else in the country, the country where most of people lived in log cabins. this incredible temple to the legislative process, marble columns, imported italian carpet,wall-to-wall luxurious drapery, it must've been a stunning site. >> architecturally, the room is spectacular. the artwork and it, it is wonderful to have the portrait of george washington by
rembrandt. it was there from the 1830s up until 1869. george washington rising up into the heavens. it is sort of on apotheosis image of our first president. paster, father of our country. it is often known as a porthole portrait. above him is the symbolic head of jupiter. it is just like washington, a godlike figure. it is really a great symbolic image. it has become associated with the senate here in the old senate chamber. then the eagle and shield above the dais, a great symbolic come a american icon here in the building in this room right above where the vice president would have presided and where the senate would've met during that 1810-1859 period. >> william henry seward of new york come a henry clay of
kentucky, stephen douglas of illinois, hannibal hamlin of maine, daniel webster of massachusetts, john c calhoun of south carolina, and sam houston texas -- that is just the beginning. this was the very apex of the golden age of the senate. when a modern visitor goes into the chamber, everything is gleaming and clean. if you were to bring back a senator from the 18 -- 1830 period, they would probably double over in laughter. wasn't like that at all. this was like the floor of the stock market merchandise exchange just before the closing bell. it is the only place where people had a place to work for it -- work. a senator's desk in the senate chamber was his office. there was no other place to go. >> i mention electricity, no
furniture. there were some spittoon sphere as well. well.toons here as >> looking at those spittoon's in the senate chamber, it tells you a lot. every senator had a spittoon. every senator disregarded trying to hit the spittoon. as a result, there are patterns all over the floor. >> do you know who charles dickens was, the famous writer? if you drop money on this carpet, he would not even pick it up with the glove. >> i was not here 60 to see how dirty it was. here in 1860 to see how dirty it was. >> this was the room or the senate became the senate that we know today. ,hen the senate first moved in it was a pale reflection of its modern self. it was sort of the rubber stamp for the house of
representatives, not a lot of major ideas came out of the senate of that early time. , the majordden, 1819 issue became slavery. you could see the great orators, the great thinkers and the house of representatives begin to decide that the place for them to be is in the senate. this is where the union was defined. is it a group of states or is it something greater than a group of states? >> people used to line up at dawn to get into the senate chamber to hear daniel webster speak good he had this eloquent manner about him, and everybody felt even if it wasn't the greatest reach ever, they could tell their children and grandchildren they heard the great daniel webster speak. he could speak for days on an issue, but they somehow were able to get to the nub of what the issue was. we remember him today not for the length of the speeches but for certain telling phrase -- as
i speak today, not as a northern man, not as a massachusetts man, but as an american. >> henry clay used to sit in the back of the senate chamber, and people would say, why didn't he moved down towards the front where the leaders sit? i think henry clay never wanted to turn his back on any one of enemies or friends for that matter. synonymous, representing the west, trying to reconcile the issues of the north and south. he was able to keep control over the senate. people charged him with being a dictator. he said, i'm not a dictator. i am one of a number of senators. he knew that he wasn't the dictator. when john c calhoun came into the chambers, he was a dramatic looking man, a serious looking man. he resigned from the vice presidency to become a senator. he started out as a nationalist and came back as a sectional list, defending his section against anti-slavery forces and
by people who wanted to change the southern way of life. in his last appearance in the senate chamber, he was too weak to deliver the speech that he had written, and he had to sit and listen as another senator stood and read it for him. he was dying of tuberculosis. the man's life was completely absorbed in the united states capital in one way or the other at the time. it would've been quite remarkable to see him in action. ♪ the senate of the 1850s was often referred to as a dueling ground or as a brawling pit. as a beer garden where contestants came in and not physically but verbally took on one another. members carried loaded pistols into the chamber. they do not do that for no reason. they did it because the atmosphere in the senate chamber and in the house chamber as well was explosive. >> it was during the coming
period of the civil war in the 1850s when it was really a terrible time in which members of congress were abusing one another, the language that was used, and charles summoner, very distinguished, elegant, arrogant, educated, a wonderful speaker, got up and give this address called the crime against kansas. >> in the process of making the speech, he attacked a few senators including stephen douglas of illinois, who was called a squat animal not worth very much, and andrew butler, a senator from south carolina who was not present in the chamber that day -- several days later, a relative of andrew butler came into the chamber, reston brooks,
a house member, and beat the living daylights out of charles sumner with his cane and nearly killed him. 1856, very symbolic because all of a sudden, this form of deliberate debate turned into a brawling room. the civil war was not far behind. ♪ >> while it evokes the history of calhoun and webster, it has become a shrine to the current members. it is an important space in the capital. the senators recognize its importance when they come into this room. they remember the great senators of the 19th century. it is important that they are not thinking about the past, but it is also important for the current members of the senate. ♪
>> that was a look at the capitol's old senate chamber were senators are expected to meet today at 6:00 p.m. eastern to discuss changes to current senate rules. the senate gavels in at 3:00 p.m. eastern for general speeches. this week senators are expected the vote fording seven executive branch nominations which would allow for final confirmation votes later. the house of representatives is back tuesday at 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. later, the chamber is expected to consider a bill that would delay for one year that health care laws and individual mandates. are expected to consider legislation on 2014 defense spending. you can see the house live on c- span, the senate live on c-span two. -- c-span 2. next, "q&a" with
journalist and author george packer. then it is "washington journal" wide with your calls. -- live with your calls. ♪ this week on "q&a," journalist and author george packer discusses his latest book >> george packer, when you look at the cover of your book, what's the purpose of the flag? >> that's a photograph of the van parked in somebody's front yard in rural virginia. a photographer happened to be walking past and noticed that the flag painted on this white van was starting to rust and thought it was a striking image and asked the owner if he could take a picture.
and it looked -- it's a piece of folk art and the book comes out of the heartland coming out of the experience of ordinary americans. a flag in battered shape but it's a flag. i thought it was interesting for the cover. >> when did you decide on the title and why? >> i was visiting the homestead of r.j. reynolds with dean price, one of the main characters in the book. and we were standing there looking at all of the fallowed farmland in that part of the country that used to be tobacco farms. he was imagining a future in which all of this fallow land would be rejuvenated for the purpose of making energy and fuels out of canola and sophia: and other crops. he said there could be an unwinding where we go back to something more like the 19th
century with each town and homestead making its own energy as it -- as it happened before the industrial age. and that -- the unwinding which i never heard in that complex stuck with me. dean price's eloquent voice. but what it said to me was something more about the teacher. it resonated in my sense about the things that used to hold americans together. structures, institutions, social ties have frayed, have begun to come undone. that is the underlying theme. enough of the nuance resonance phrase.